She always said she was born “with a sideways soul” to explain why at the age of 16 she had left her home to go up to the mountains to fight the fascists. Francesca Laura Wronowski, the last granddaughter of Giacomo Matteotti, passed away this morning at the age of 99. As a girl she had been a partisan in the mountains of Genoa and then throughout her life an economic journalist, as well as a tireless witness to the history of the Resistance against Nazi-fascism. The news of her comes from her son Maurizio Fabbri, also a journalist, who was close to her mother until the last of her.
Laura Wronowski descended from one of the oldest families of the Polish aristocracy, she was born on 1 January 1924 in Milan to the Corriere della Sera journalist Casimiro Wronowski de Topòr and Nella Titta, whose sister Velia was the wife of the socialist deputy Giacomo Matteotti. Matteotti’s assassination by fascist assassins on 10 June 1924 dramatically marks the existence of the family. The fascistisation of the “Corriere della Sera”, which in November 1925 led to the ousting of Luigi Albertini from the direction of the newspaper, led to the resignation of various anti-fascist personalities who collaborated with the masthead: among others, Luigi Einaudi, Ferruccio Parri and Casimiro Wronowski .
It was precisely because of the war and poverty that the family moved to Liguria, also welcoming Matteotti’s children, living in a situation of social isolation and nagging police control.
On 8 September 1943, at the age of 19, he chose the Resistance among the first, together with his brother Pierlorenzo and brother-in-law Antonio Zolesio, who would command the “Giacomo Matteotti” Division, an emanation of “Giustizia e Libertà” and the Action Party by Ferruccio Parri. It was the latter who exercised the role of second father and political guide for the girl.
Laura was very young when she went on foot, at night, to the village of Fontanabuona, in the hinterland of Chiavari and Rapallo, where there was a partisan base. But she didn’t lack courage, even though she said many times that “we were an army of young people, dying from the cold from the light clothes, with rifles that almost felt like shooting with your fingers. But compared to the Germans, we had the advantage of to be supported by the peasants who protected us and shared what little they had with us”.
“I shot many times in the war, but I never killed anyone,” he said. She took part in numerous actions, including the liberation of 20 Jewish prisoners from Campo di Calvari and was the first partisan of her Division to enter, on April 25, 1945, Genoa, a city where the Germans, the only case in Italy, they surrendered directly to the Italian Resistance fighters.
After the war, he embarked on a career in journalism, following in his father’s footsteps, testifying to young people his experience with meetings in schools of all levels. In 2014 she was the female protagonist of the film “The memory of the last” by Samuele Rossi, a work in which he narrates his experience as a partisan returning to the places where he had lived it. In recounting his life in recent years, he often indulged in sad thoughts about the state of the Italian institutions: “Confronted with what I see in Parliament – he often said – I wonder if it was worth fighting risking our lives and sacrificing many young existences, to then arrive at this result. The values of the Constitution for which we fought are forgotten and tarnished every day”. However, she never gave up the duty of testimony. Together with Liliana Segre, in Milan, on June 10, 2019, on the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the murder of Matteottiattended an evening in which he read excerpts from his uncle’s writings.CopyAMP code.
In 2015 she was invited by the Speaker of the Chamber, Laura Boldrini, on the occasion of the anniversary of Matteotti’s killing, and during a moving ceremony she was able to briefly occupy the seat that belonged to her uncle. In 2016, the Ministry of Defense awarded her the Medal of Liberation. She then received many other awards for her story, up to the Golden Ambrogino of the Municipality of Milan in 2018. In 2021 she was nominated by Mattarella Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
As a good journalist, Laura Wronowski has always closely followed the events of Italian politics, reading the newspapers and commenting on the main facts. Recently, at the election of Giorgia Meloni, for Repubblica, among other bitter considerations, she had criticized the outrage that was done to the history of the country by electing a premier who did not want to remove the tricolor flame from the symbol of her party.
Condolence is expressed by Roberto Cenati, president of the provincial PNA of Milan, who remembers her with great affection. “Laura has always assiduously attended the provincial Anpi of Milan, to which she has never failed to give her precious contribution – Cenati recalls -. Her call was to reflect on historical and cultural study, antidotes against the re-emergence of racism , of fascism, of anti-Semitism”.
Cenati recounts a private and significant detail: “Laura kept a photograph in evidence in her home: that of Sergio Kasman, partisan commander of Justice and Freedom, with whom she had had an unforgettable love story. Sergio was ambushed by the fascists in Piazzale Lavater in Milan, on December 9, 1944. She learned of it after Liberation had taken place and at that tragic news, for the first time in her life, she fainted.She jealously kept the letters received from Sergio in a drawer, which she never wanted to show to no one. She rightly wanted to keep to herself, as one of the most precious things in her life, that correspondence so important to her. She will be greatly missed by the Anpi, by all of us, by her Milan. She will always remain in our hearts. I express to her son Maurizio Fabbri also on behalf of the provincial Anpi of Milan moved and affectionate closeness “. Even the national PNA wanted to remember the mourning with a simple message: “Bye Laura, bye Partisan. A great pain.”